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Funding for flood defences and school expansions approved at Royal Borough council meeting

Funding for flood defences and school expansions approved at Royal Borough council meeting

Lucy Elder

A pledge of £1.4m to help protect parts of the borough from flooding was approved by Royal Borough councillors at a full council meeting last night.

Councillors agreed that £285k be put towards the River Thames Scheme this year and that a further £285k be budgeted for it each year for the following four years.

The recommendations went before the council's decision-making cabinet on March 26.

Cabinet members affirmed partnership support to the scheme and recommended councillors approve the funding.

The joint project, led by the Environment Agency, involves a number of other local authorities between Datchet and Teddington as well as Thames Water, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and DEFRA.

The whole project is valued at £302m and 2,300 of the 15,000 homes it would offer protection to are in the Royal Borough.

Cllr Malcolm Beer (Old Windsor Residents' Association, Old Windsor) said he would like to see the sewers sealed to prevent foul waste from bubbling up in future floods.

The application was approved unanimously.

Just under £1m to be spent on expanding two schools was also agreed at the meeting held in the Guildhall in High Street, Windsor.

An application to approve an extra £500k for Manor Green Special School expansion scheme and £480k for Holyport College expansion scheme was given the go ahead at a council meeting yesterday (Tuesday).

The money given to Manor Green Special School will go towards a £1.2m refurbishment that will mean the school could potentially expand from 220 to 300 pupils by September 2021.

The remaining £785k for this scheme to convert the residential building at the Elizabeth Hawkes Way school into teaching accommodation has been made up by a grant from the Department of Education.

The funding for Holyport College would be spent on accommodating 48 extra pupils across the whole school.

The expansion is set to include sports and changing facilities, a larger kitchen and an improved library.

Cllr Simon Dudley (Cons, Maidenhead Riverside) said there will be a minor extension to the school.

"Since 2010, there are now one million more school children in England who go to good or outstanding schools than there were before the start of the coalition government," he said.

Cllr Lynne Jones (Old Windsor Residents' Association, Old Windsor) said she supported the application, but added she would like to be sure the council is expanding areas of demand.

Cllr Dudley responded that both Manor Green School and Holyport College are extremely popular schools and added that Holyport College was approaching being 11 times oversubscribed at year seven.

The application was approved.

Other matters arising at the meeting included:

  • Councillors heard that Clyde House in Reform Road was bought by the council for £250k and the inclusion of a £1.09m to support the joint RBWM and Family Friends community based social care teams was also approved.
  • Sean O'Connor was appointed as the new monitoring officer.
  • Cllr Eileen Quick (Cons, Clewer East) assured the meeting there are no plans to cease providing a library service in Sunninghill.
  • Cllr Geoff Hill (Cons, Oldfield) said talks are taking place about a cycle route to Charters School.
  • The council heard how £100,000 has been spent in the past year in resurfacing private roads on a match-funding basis.
  • Cllr Hari Sharma (Cons, Furze Platt) brought forward the motion that the council should support International Day of Yoga on June 21, which was approved.
  • A presentation was made to former mayor Cllr Kathy Newbound (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green), who has served on the council for 24 years and will not be standing again for election. Cllr Newbound said she has had a 'terrific time' and that it has been 'wonderful' to serve on the council.

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